Drinks Hennessy

Five Entrepreneurs Accorded ‘Hennessy X.O Circle of Excellence’ Accolade

The pioneers of the Hennessy X.O Circle of Excellence members, from left to right: Roland Chua, Group Chief Executive Officer, Kin Ho Group; Leon Lee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zeon Properties Group; Choong Pin Hoong, Director, Syarikat Letrik Chen Guan Sdn Bhd; Dato’ Sri Edwin Tan Pei Seng, Executive Chairman, Paragon Globe Bhd and Group Managing Director, Joland Group; and Andy Yek Hock Siang, Managing Director, C.R.W.N Idea Sdn Bhd.

Hennessy, the globally renowned cognac, honours five pioneering members of the ‘Hennessy X.O Circle of Excellence’ for their remarkable level of outstanding leadership among Malaysia’s younger generation of entrepreneurs.

Recognition is awarded to extraordinary people who have zeitgeist, a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom while embracing an inclusive mindset to encourage growth and advancement under the direction of impactful, intuitive, and outstanding leadership. The spirit of inclusion is characterised by four core qualities: Pushing Boundaries, Open Mindset, Advocating Collective Intelligence, and Innovativeness.

“Hennessy has been in Malaysia for a century and a half and through generations we have witnessed the power of the collective that drives excellence. The Hennessy X.O range has always been associated with outstanding leadership and success across every field. Our founder himself possessed a young, progressive streak; and that’s always been how we’re perceived. This is also always how we have and will continue to lead.”

Aiko Inouye Lee, Senior Brand Manager, Hennessy X.O, Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Hennessy honours the spirit of inclusiveness by producing superior cognacs that bring together exceptional leaders in the community. The pioneering spirit and value of inclusiveness that the brand strives for in its recipient of the said accolade is the trademark versatility of Hennessy in its capacity to be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Within the business world, they are champions of cultural advancement, including the long view and communal transmission into their commercial strategy. These are the types of leaders who feel at comfortable in the world as members of the global Hennessy family, fueled by an inclusive outlook and charisma.

“The Hennessy X.O Circle of Excellence recognises these exceptional entrepreneurs who represent the same trailblazing spirit of Hennessy, and to inspire strength in the journey of progress. It is a way for the brand to engage more deeply within the community that it aims to support.”

Aiko Inouye Lee, Senior Brand Manager, Hennessy X.O, Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia Sdn Bhd

From the different regions across Malaysia, the pioneering members of the Hennessy X.O Circle of Excellence named are:

Leon Lee
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zeon Properties Group

Zeon Properties, a property consultancy firm, was founded in Penang but has now grown to employ over 1,000 people across Malaysia. With over 300 projects under its belt, the Group has established itself as a specialist providing the full range of property-related products and services. This was mostly supervised by CEO Leon Lee, a proponent of collective intelligence who recognises the uniqueness of each individual recruit and how they work together to drive success. Leon demonstrates leadership that sets the stage for future innovative work by being a champion of sustainability, placing an emphasis on comprehensive planning and green concepts by using sustainable materials. Leon successfully steered the Group as a preferred marketing and consulting firm at home. He helped build a strong reputation among foreign investors as the go-to service provider via representative offices in Singapore, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

Dato’ Sri Edwin Tan Pei Seng
Executive Chairman, Paragon Globe Bhd
Group Managing Director, Joland Group

Joland Group is a respectable and recognisable name amongst the residents of Johor Bharu. The property development and property investment business has expanded greatly in the last decade under the guideship of Dato’ Sri Edwin and his brother. He began his career as the Chairman’s PA, where he learnt brick-and-mortar the intricacies of the business that prepared him to take over the role. Since assuming leadership role, he has pushed boundaries, expanding from a small developer with projects under the Paragon brand into a diversified conglomerate, establishing itself in the sectors of hospitality, education, retail mall management, healthcare, aquaculture and mixed development. Now, Dato’ Sri Edwin advocates collective intelligence through curating a strong management team of open-minded talent to champion progress and innovation within the company.

Andy Yek Hock Siang
Managing Director, C.R.W.N Idea Sdn Bhd

Andy’s journey began in construction where he developed a passion for home makeovers that influenced the trajectory of his career inspiring him to set out on his own. From Bintulu, Sarawak, business quickly expanded across the state. In two decades, Andy moved from being a third-party retailer into producing his own line of sanitary ware, kitchenware, and home improvement products, marketed under the name, Gucini. He sets himself apart by catering to local market needs, offering bespoke experiences selling home-grown products competitively benchmarked against international standards. This analytic-driven research combined with in-house Research & Development facility, foster continued innovation and customisation in product design setting the stage for future innovative work. In addition, Andy introduced an experimental, direct to the end-buyer, business model based on a token membership fee and reward scheme that allowed his broad clientele from homeowners to developers and contractors in the hospitality sector, to enjoy dealer prices filling a huge gap for affordable luxury in the market. Andy is constantly searching to push boundaries in his time as Managing Director.

Roland Chua
Group Chief Executive Officer, Kin Ho Group

For Johor-based Roland, wood production and pallet manufacturing were interests fostered from childhood. With the company in its 40th year of operation, he leverages the company’s combined knowledge and experience, while remaining adaptable to the changing market and technological developments. Prioritising efficiency, Roland has overseen the evolution of the company’s traditional means of operation with the integration of modern technology to gradually transition fully into Industrial Revolution 4.0 mode by 2023. He possesses an open and a growth mindset fostered through resilience and perseverance. This allows him to focus on delivering high quality products, to be optimising constantly, and to improve value-added services which he does while maintaining an optimistic attitude to every challenge he faces.

Choong Pin Hoong
Director, Syarikat Letrik Chen Guan Sdn Bhd

Pin Hoong came into the family business a mere two years after earning his Bachelor’s degree back in 2009. Since then, he has developed a unique leadership style since stepping up to run the Selangor-based mechanical and electrical contractor company. Most notably, Pin Hoong champions the philosophy that “one must have the guts to invest in failures.” Operating in a long-established industry, old and new approaches must be combined to create an effective business model. For Pin Hoong, this means giving his team more chances to take ownership in their roles and company-related decisions, as well as providing them with the necessary tools to do so. He understands, as an advocate of collective intelligence, mistakes are the price of innovation, and that every decision, success or failure, is an opportunity to learn together.

The five trailblazing members mentioned above were also honoured with the renowned first-ever ACCCIM Outstanding Young Entrepreneurs Model Award at a recent award ceremony in Penang.

Photo credits: Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia

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